13 Prospects Who Will Make Best Case to Make the Team Next Year
With the September call-ups underway, we're finally getting a chance to see some of Major League Baseball's brightest future stars perform on the big stage.
We've seen plenty of call-ups not go as hoped this season, but the slate is wiped clean come September as dozens of young players audition for 2012. While a great September by no means guarantees a player will make the squad the following season, it's definitely a step in the right direction.
The 13 player's on this list have all been very close for quite some time, with September being their final step in becoming a Major League Baseball player.
Here are 13 Prospects Who Will Make the Best Case to Make the Team Next Year.
Jose Iglesias, SS, Boston Red Sox
It was only a matter of time until the Boston Red Sox brought up Jose Iglesias. At a minimum, his stellar defensive play at shortstop will be utilized late in games.
While Iglesias' glove work is impeccable, his bat still has some catching up to do before the Red Sox name him their every day starter.
This September is a great opportunity for Iglesias to prove he is ready to face major league pitching, and with neither Marco Scutaro nor Jed Lowrie grabbing a firm hold of shortstop for the Sox, he should be given plenty of chances.
Jerry Sands, Of, Los Angeles Dogers
After failing to capitalize on his opportunity with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this season, Jerry Sands went back down to the minors to rake 28 home runs and 85 RBI in only 90 games.
Expected to be back up with the team sometime in September, Sands will try to keep his hot bat going against major league pitching.
He has a lot to prove this month, as GM Ned Colletti's faith-level in the young slugger may determine whether they'll entertain offers for some of their bigger names this offseason.
Domonic Brown, Of, Philadelphia Phillies
Dominic Brown has been given over 200 at-bats with the Philadelphia Phillies this season, but he wasn't able to prove he could hit against major league pitching.
The fact that the Phillies weren't inclined to send him to the Astros as part of the Hunter Pence trade speaks volumes as to what the team expects from Brown in the future.
With Raul Ibanez heading to free agency after the season, left field will no doubt be Brown’s job to lose in 2012.
Jacob Turner, P, Detroit Tigers
Although Jacob Turner gave up six runs in only four and one-third innings in his first start since being called-up on September 1st, the 20-year-old still showed great command.
He should be a huge boost to the Detroit Tigers' rotation down the stretch.
With the recent struggles of Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, Turner has a chance to take over as the No. 3 starter going into the playoffs should he perform well this month.
Turner has flown through the minor leagues over the last two seasons, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the young hurler as a mainstay in the Tigers' rotation from here on out.
Michael Taylor, Of, Oakland Athletics
Michael Taylor was the main piece in the eventual three-way trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies two years ago .
With more solid numbers in the minor leagues this season, Taylor is now ready to bring his game to the big leagues.
The 25-year-old has shown the potential to be a 20-home run, 20-stolen base threat with Oakland, and with their entire outfield trio heading to free agency this winter, Taylor is without a doubt in the A's plans for next season.
David Cooper, 1B/Of, Toronto Blue Jays
Through 115 games in Triple-A this season, David Cooper is hitting .368 with nine home runs and 95 RBI.
He didn't fare well in short stint with the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this season, but you can bet they'll give him plenty of at-bats in September.
Cooper would be a great bat to have protecting Jose Bautista in the Jays lineup, while shifting Adam Lind down to the five-hole. The only question remaining is whether Cooper would play first base or outfield.
If he hits the way he's capable of hitting this September, there is no doubt the Jays will make room for him on the roster heading into next season.
Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds
With incumbent catcher Ramon Hernandez heading toward free agency, it's finally time for top prospect Devin Mesoraco to make a name for himself with the Cincinnati Reds.
Mesoraco is arguably the most well-rounded catcher in the deep crop of young backstops coming up through the minor leagues. He's shown great bat control in the minors and has consistently improved at every level along the way.
With the Reds out of contention already this season, Mesoraco should get at least half of the starts down the stretch before taking over full-time in 2012.
Dayan Viciedo, 3B, Chicago White Sox
After being called-up late during the 2010 season, Dayan Viciedo hit .308 with five home runs in only 38 games.
While it was somewhat surprising the young slugger didn't make the team out of spring training, he is finally back in the big leagues with no plans of going back down.
Considering the lack of production coming from Adam Dunn and Brent Lillibridge this season, the White Sox should have brought up Viciedo a long time ago.
At this point, even decent production down the stretch should guarantee him a spot on the 2012 opening day roster.
Wilin Rosario, C, Colorado Rockies
The limits are a mile-high for Colorado Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario, who should soon be joining the team for the foreseeable future.
Rosario has made large strides behind the plate this season and has the potential to be one of the best offensive catchers in baseball while playing his home games in Colorado.
With current Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta being a likely non-tender candidate after the season, Rosario should get the job in September and never look back.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, San Diego Padres
Anthony Rizzo is the future of the San Diego Padres. Although he disappointed in his first call-up earlier this season, the big-time slugger has gone wild in Triple-A this year.
Through only 91 games in the minors, Rizzo has launched 26 home runs with 101 RBI.
For the Padres to be a competitive ball club, they need a big bat who can hit the ball out of Petco Park. Rizzo is their man, and they will give him every opportunity to make their 2012 roster.
Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees
In the most publicized call-up of the season, the New York Yankees finally brought catcher Jesus Montero up to the big leagues.
Montero started the season on a horrible note, but has since proven he is one of the top hitters in the minor leagues.
The Yankees will welcome his bat to an already potent offense while he takes starts away from Russell Martin behind the plate and Jorge Posada at DH.
Barring a major disappointment, Montero is here to stay.
Julio Teheran, P, Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran has been tearing apart minor league batters for the last three seasons. This season alone, Teheran sits with a 15-2 record and 2.22 ERA over 141 innings in Triple-A.
The Braves gave the 20-year-old two spot-starts earlier in the season but he wasn't able to seize control of a permanent spot.
With Tommy Hanson on the DL and Derek Lowe continuing with his struggles, Teheran will have another opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation as the Braves march towards October.
Matt Moore, P, Tampa Bay Rays
It's unbelievable how many big-time arms come up through the Tampa Bay Rays' system. Almost every season they have at least one top pitching prospect waiting for his chance to join the big leagues.
Last season it was Jeremy Hellickson, while this season it's Matt Moore.
Moore has accomplished just about everything possible in the minor leagues and is more than ready to take on major league hitters. The Rays have no choice but to call him up at this point.
The only question now is, which starting pitcher will the Rays be willing to trade away to make room for Moore next season?
Jeffrey Beckmann is a MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new Twitter account for all of his latest work. You can also hear him each Friday at 1 pm EST on B/R Baseball Roundtable.